Zhao Jiaojiao was wrapped all over her body in medicine-soaked bandages. One of her legs had been propped up high above the bed, secured with a wooden splint.
Seeing that Lu Sheng had come in person, Zhao Jiaojiao immediately began blinking vigorously. She could not get up, and her voice box had been damaged. All she could do to indicate response was to blink.
"Your internal organs are fine, but how were your tendons and bones hurt so badly??" Lu Sheng was shocked after a quick examination of her wounds.
More than half of the tendons on her body had been torn. Her bones had been smashed and her muscles ripped. What was most bizarre was that her blood vessels and internal organs were unscathed.
Lu Sheng glanced at Zhao Jiaojiao.
Without warning, his hand extended and appeared over the bed in a flash, pressing on Zhao Jiaojiao's forehead.
A massive volume of Yin Yang Jade Crane Aquarius Qi gushed into her body.
Zhao Jiaojiao shut her eyes, her body shaking vigorously. Her body absorbed the Yin-attribute inner Qi transferred by Lu Sheng almost greedily, spending it all on her recovery.
In one breath, Lu Sheng transferred half his Yin Yang Jade Crane Aquarius Qi into her. Instantly, all the wounds on Zhao Jiaojiao's body showed signs of recovery. Massive waves of inner Qi churned in her, stimulating the life energy within her body.
Lu Sheng's Aquarius Qi was unparalleled in its purity and effectiveness. This inner force skill had fused together too many skills and had become an unimaginably powerful and wicked skill.
After a cup of tea's time, Lu Sheng pulled his hand back.
"Tell me. What on earth happened and how you got hurt so badly?"
The tremors of Zhao Jiaojiao's body gradually died down. She cast a grateful but weary look at Lu Sheng and slowly began to speak, "That day, your subordinate... went to investigate." She broke into a fit of coughs. Her voicebox had only just recovered and she needed some time to get used to it. "I ran into a mutant beast. After a fight to the death, it took me everything I got to escape. Fortunately, the beast had already been severly wounded to begin with. Otherwise, I might never get to see Sect Master again."
"Yes," Zhao Jiaojiao recalled. "That mutant beast was as tall as a man and had a pair of wings. It looked like a black ox. Its blood was like icevery, very cold!"
Lu Sheng frowned. Never had he heard of such a mutant beast. Not even in fairy tales and myths.
"Your subordinate fought to the death with it. Finally, I bit hard into it and drank much of its blood. My wounds being too severe, I was frozen by its blood and fell into a coma. By the time I woke up, I had been rescued." Zhao Jiaojiao spoke cleanly and simply. Lu Sheng saw no signs of falsehood in her eyes.
"Do you remember the place where you ran into that beast?" he asked suddenly.
Zhao Jiaojiao fell into a daze. Her eyes widened. To her surprise, she could not recall where she had met that beast, try as she might.
"Your body..." Lu Sheng placed his hand gently against Zhao Jiaojiao's head. "It's very cold. It's not the normal body temeprature of a human. It's much lower than that."
"Is that so?" Zhao Jiaojiao was surprised. She had completely no idea.
"Rest well." Lu Sheng spoke no further.
"Yes. Thank you, Sect Master, for healing me." Zhao Jiaojiao watched as Lu Sheng left, then continued resting on the bed.
After coming out of the room, Lu Sheng led Jade Lotus and the rest to the heart of the ship.
"Keep Zhao Jiaojiao under close watch. If you observe any abnormalities, report to me immediately."
"Yes, sir!" Jade Lotus immediately replied respectfully.
"Aside from that, dispatch men to look for those herbs. That must not stop. In a few days' time, sort out the present situation of Martial League and report to me," Lu Sheng said placidly.
"About the herbs, some of the newly enlisted Divine Prime Elders have been dispatched. As for Martial League...?" Jade Lotus was unsure what Lu Sheng had in mind.
"How many Divine Primes are there left in Martial League right now?" Lu Sheng asked casually.
"Erm... less than half. Some left directly... Till date, five Divine Primes have joined our Sect," Jade Lotus quickly replied.
But Lu Sheng knew that the actual number was way higher than that.
Many more of the Divine Primes who had left Martial League had joined Crimson Sun Sect instead. In total, fifteen of them had joined Crimson Sun Sect. Those who remained in Martial League were truly numbered.
"Forget about the rest who won't join us. You will handle the security at my wedding. No mishap may happen in the city. Any noteworthy foreigner who comes into the Northern Lands must be investigated for their background at the first possible opportunity," Lu Sheng instructed.
"Yes, sir! You don't have to worry!" Jade Lotus nodded.
"I'm going into solitary confinement. Get the data in order and place it in the drawer in my study. I'll read it later," Lu Sheng ordered.
"Your subordinate understands!" Jade Lotus said respectfully.
Only then did Lu Sheng nod in satisfaction. His solitary confinement this time was not for the purpose of extrapolating new levels, but to consolidate and integrate the Divine Prime martial arts he had newly acquired.
According to the sect rules that Lu Sheng had established, these Divine Prime experts who enlisted in Crimson Sun Sect had to submit a top-notch martial art that they had mastered in exchange for Lu Sheng's edited Ultimate Crimson Nine Furies Skill.
These martial arts were basically on the level of Spirit Focus. They were the crown jewels of these Divine Prime masters and greatly enriched Crimson Sun Sect's martial arts library.
Lu Sheng intended to pick out some from the dozen or so Spirit Focus martial arts which he could use for himself. He was prepared to go into solitary confinement again.
Right now, the Yin Qi he had left was inadequate to upgrade Yang Extreme Dao and his inner Qi. Hence, he might as well use what he had left to integrate these new martial arts together, which served the same purpose of increasing his strength.
Come to think of it, apart from Crimson Sun Sect's trademark skill, Ultimate Crimson Mantra, he had not cultivated any other Spirit Focus martial arts. Even the Thousand Trees Burning Heart Palm which he had obtained from the trade with Martial League was merely at the level of Intent Proficiency.
At that time, when he had acquired Thousand Trees Burning Heart Palm, he discovered that it did not add much to his existing martial arts cultivation. That was when Lu Sheng understood that the ordinary path of martial arts was no longer sufficient for his present heights.
'After the wedding, I'll take my family along with me and leave. As long as I keep getting stronger and stay alive, then even if Lu Family stays in the Northern Lands, nothing bad will happen to them. No one can withstand mine and Shangyang Jiuli's rage,' Lu Sheng thought.
After Jade Lotus took his leave, Lu Sheng had Ouyang Qi report the progress of the selection match to him. Then he announced his solitary confinement.
He needed to put all in order before he left the Northern Lands.
Use up all his remaining Yin Qi to integrate the new martial arts, boosting his strength as much as possiblethat was the final item on his agenda.
In the dark, gloomy and vast forest, wisps of white smoke floated among the trees.
A long, pitiful wolf's howl rang out without warning. Out of nowhere, a large pack of white wolves dashed across in the darkness of the forest.
Each of these wolves was significantly larger than an ordinary wild wolf. Their eyes shone with a pale red glint in the shadows.
They dashed along in the cover of the wisps of white smoke, their howls rising and falling after one another.
Something dull and heavy landed on the ground, as if some giant was stomping its foot on the ground.
The heavy steps reverberated one after another, bringing about a heavy, suffocating pressure in the air amidst the shrill howls of the pack.
An enormous pair of blood red eyes, each several meters tall, slowly opened in the forest.
They were long, narrow, and cold. A faint red hue emanated off them, expelling the blackness nearby.
"Chao Long has died too... the Northern Lands... just what power lies in that place..." A deafening voice boomed from the pair of blood red eyes.
"Not even Three Sacred Gates' passageway... was brought back..." The thundering voice was detached, as if the deaths of the two Deputy Society Heads was less of a pity than the fact that the passageway was not brought back.
"Although you lost two Deputy Society Heads, your power keeps Wandering Heart Society strong all the same. Isn't it?" The calm voice of a man rang out abruptly from among the pack of wolves.
A strange gust of wind dispersed the white fog. Shafts of moonlight penetrated the thick canopy of the forest, revealing a massive figure behind the pair of red eyes.
It was a titanic white wolf.
Its body was several storeys tall. Its gigantic frame stood pencil straight in the forest like a white building.
Not much of a gloss reflected off the giant wolf's fur. Its long, narrow, blood-red eyes glared coldly and cruelly at the man standing before it.
It was the man who had just spoken.
"Oh?" The giant wolf lowered its head, its razor-sharp fangs drawing near him, as if it could swallow him up at any instant.
Wisps of white fog rose up in the air again. In actual fact, it was no white fog. Rather, it was the water vapour exhaled by the wolf.
"Who gave you the guts to stand thus before this King without fear..." the giant wolf spoke in a low growl.
"Wandering Heart Society has existed for so many years in compliance with the ancient alliance. I believe Your Majesty, the White Wolf King, would not act so impudently," the man replied calmly.
Despite his small stature relative to the White Wolf King (he was about as tall as a tooth of the latter), he stood before him without any fear. Composedly, he gazed at the massive Wolf King.
"Moreover, I've come specially to inform Your Majesty of the identity of the man who has seized the passageway." The man lifted his head, revealing his face. Unexpectedly, it was the man who had investigated the Three Sacred Mirror incident in Tea Sect back then.
The fine wisps of red smoke floated in the sanctuary. Thread by thread, they weaved a large web, cloaking the space in the entire sanctuary.
Lu Sheng sat cross-legged right in the middle, more than ten assorted martial arts manuals placed on the ground before him.
These were the prized copies of the Divine Prime martial arts, handwritten by the Divine Prime Elders. Unlike the average martial arts practitioner, once one entered the realm of Divine Prime, one was qualified to compose works of martial arts that were on par with the original ancient manuals.
Divine Prime experts could even represent the true intent of the martial art perfectly through meditation diagrams, and even improve upon them.
After all, these martial arts manuals were merely Spirit Focus martial arts, while they themselves had attained a realm even higherDivine Prime.
"A pity... writing martial arts manuals is an extremely taxing task even for Divine Prime experts. Otherwise, these could be mass-produced for income..." Lu Sheng's gaze swept across the martial arts manuals placed before him.
'Mysteria Light God Freezing Palm', 'Great Sun Flowing Sands Sword Art', 'Sage Restoration Skill', 'Golden Wind Jade Dew Mantra', 'Blue Winds Martial Brush', 'Trigram Emperor Fist', 'Cloud Fury Palm'...
One after another, each of these Spirit Focus martial arts were impressively named. Obviously, they were imbued with the hopes and expectations of their respective creators, who hoped that these arts would be as powerful and domineering as their names suggested.
"A pity... even Divine Primes are but slightly larger ants of the mortal world." Lu Sheng sighed.